June 2, 2023

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced the fifth round of the Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Carbon Challenge, making $15 million available as part of Round XIII of Governor Kathy Hochul’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC)Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. initiative announced on May 15. The C&I Carbon Challenge will help reduce carbon emissions at commercial and industrial businesses and institutions, combat climate change, and drive economic growth across the state. Today’s announcement supports New York’s nation-leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050.

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA said, “The launch of the C&I Carbon Challenge, now in its fifth year, demonstrates Governor Hochul’s commitment to reducing emissions in the state’s building stock while driving economic growth. This funding will allow more commercial and industrial owners across the state to adopt clean energy measures that will help them to realize cost-savings while reducing harmful emissions from their operations that will improve the air quality in their communities.”

The C&I Carbon Challenge is a competitive program that provides funding to large energy users to implement cost-effective clean energy projects that reduce carbon emissions and is available to eligible businesses and institutions including but not limited to manufacturers, colleges, universities, health care facilities, and office building owners in New York State. Project proposals may employ a combination of energy or manufacturing process efficiency strategies, carbon capture technology, renewable generation, or energy storage. A variety of projects that reduce emissions are eligible, with a focus on those that electrify buildings or manufacturing equipment, capture greenhouse gas emissions, reduce industrial thermal process emissions, and/or make operational and technical changes that reduce industrial process emissions.

Ian Wells, Industrial Decarbonization Advocate at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said, “To meet our climate goals, we must start to deploy advanced technologies that have the potential to deeply cut or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector now. Many of these technologies are new, and we need smart policies like the Commercial & Industrial Carbon Challenge program to reduce the risk of early-stage deployments and catalyze private sector investment.”

The C&I Carbon Challenge will provide awards ranging from $500,000 to $5 million to partially offset clean energy project costs for the largest commercial and industrial energy users in the state, with an aggregate 12-month average demand of 3-megawatts or greater. The deadline to apply through the State's Consolidated Funding ApplicationLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. (CFA) is July 28th, 2023 at 4:00 p.m.

Awardees are selected based on their plans for project implementation, institutional commitment to sustainability, overall level of greenhouse gas emissions reduced, and their potential to beneficially impact disadvantaged communities. NYSERDA’s scoring criteria provides points for greenhouse gas emission reductions that occur in designated disadvantaged communities and/or deliver benefits in such communities. Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) will review projects and provide scores that reflect how well a project aligns with a region's goals and strategies.

The REDC process continues to support and empower regional stakeholders in developing strategic plans which emphasize each region's unique assets and provide strategies to harness local resources to stimulate regional economic development and create jobs statewide. To date, through the REDC Initiative, more than $7.7 billion has been awarded to more than 9,500 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region's strategic plan. Since its inception, the C&I Carbon Challenge has made 15 awards to companies and higher education institutions that will cumulatively reduce 2.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, equal to 12 months of annual tailpipe emissions of 580,00 cars. NYSERDA expects to announce the fifth-round awards in late 2023.

Buildings account for 30 percent of the energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. NYSERDA's initiatives and programs can benefit most businesses and organizations across the State, but large energy consumers have unique needs and solutions when it comes to increasing efficiency and lowering emissions. Building on New York State's support for private sector solutions to lower the cost of clean energy, the C&I Carbon Challenge gives large energy consumers the flexibility to tap into their in-house expertise to reduce their carbon footprint and control their energy costs. Furthermore, this program is well-aligned with the recommendations produced by the Energy Intensive and Trade Exposed Industries (EITE) Advisory Panel and submitted to the Climate Action Council, a proactive step to support early action to decarbonize by large energy users.

Funding is available through the State's 10-year, $6 billion Clean Energy Fund.

New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda calls for an orderly and just transition that creates family-sustaining jobs, continues to foster a green economy across all sectors and ensures that at least 35 percent, with a goal of 40 percent, of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities. Guided by some of the nation’s most aggressive climate and clean energy initiatives, New York is on a path to achieving a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and economywide carbon neutrality by mid-century. A cornerstone of this transition is New York's unprecedented clean energy investments, including more than $35 billion in 120 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce building emissions, $3.3 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. These and other investments are supporting more than 165,000 jobs in New York’s clean energy sector in 2021 and over 3,000 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, New York also adopted zero-emission vehicle regulations, including requiring all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the State be zero emission by 2035. Partnerships are continuing to advance New York’s climate action with nearly 400 registered and 100 certified Climate Smart Communities, nearly 500 Clean Energy Communities, and the State’s largest community air monitoring initiative in 10 disadvantaged communities across the state to help target air pollution and combat climate change.


NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on TwitterLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., FacebookLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., YouTubeLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page., or InstagramLink opens in new window - close new window to return to this page..

About the Consolidated Funding Application

The Consolidated Funding Application was created to streamline and expedite the grant application process. The CFA process marks a fundamental shift in the way State resources are allocated, ensuring less bureaucracy and greater efficiency to fulfill local economic development needs. The CFA serves as the single-entry point for access to economic development funding, ensuring applicants no longer have to slowly navigate multiple agencies and sources without any mechanism for coordination. Now, economic development projects use the CFA as a support mechanism to access multiple State funding sources through one application, making the process quicker, easier, and more productive. Learn more about the CFA here.